Hurricane Season starts June 1st and predictions for the season are coming out. Before looking ahead (we’ll post on that in the next few days), how did last years’ forecasts do? Historically, hurricane season predictions are rarely accurate.
2019 Atlantic Hurricane season forecasts from Accuweather’s 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast and Colorado State University’s 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season Forecast were basically looking for an ‘average’ season. Accuweather predicted 5-7 hurricanes with 2-4 becoming major hurricanes. NOAA (National Oceanographicand Atmospheric Administration) had predicted 4-8 hurricanes
An ‘average’ season has the following probabilities of having a major hurricane make landfall:
- For the entire U.S. coastline the average for the last century is 52 percent.
- For the U.S. East Coast including the Florida peninsula average for the last century is 31 percent.
- For the Gulf Coast from the Florida panhandle westward to Brownsville average for the last century is 30 percent.
- For the Caribbean average for the last century is 42 percent.
What happened? 6 hurricanes, 3 becoming major hurricane, a slightly above average season. Pretty good forecasting! It was the 4th year in a row for above average hurricane activity
But as we’ve seen with Harvey, Katrina, Sandy, Irene and more, it just takes one. Hopefully, we won’t see any graphics like these on the weather this year!